new Meitner MA3 hit the rack today

Letting it warm up and run some playlists on repeat through it.  Gonna give it a few hundred hours of break-in before the first critical session.  Nice unit.  Roon 1.8 picked it up, but didn’t let me configure as an output since the certification is delayed by a few weeks.  Wasn’t really planning on switching the digital front end, as it’s more of a secondary source during the day, but I just couldn’t take the Aurender UI/UX anymore.  “A far more intuitive interface, Roon is” said Yoda.  The A10 sound was very livable long term but just got tired of that darn UI.  Roon could stream to it, but only over airplay, so what’s the point there.  Anyway, I’ll post up some thoughts when I get rolling with it for real.

I had DAC2X + NS1 and now have a MA3.  Since the DAC2X was designed there are years of development in the MA3.  MA3 sounds better.  For a while I used the NS1 with the MA3 and could not hear an advantage to the streamer in the MA3.

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So I just got a Meitner MA3 the other day. Been wanting this thing for a long time and it just ticked a lot of boxes for me. I had this whole post on here, which I pretty much immediately deleted, about how disappointed I was in it. I wanted to love it so bad cause I had waited for so long and I was upgrading from a blusound node! I was thinking it was going to be this massive upgrade. I feel my system should have been resolving enough, so i thought. But it was only marginally better than my node. So here I was thinking about what type of crack you guys were smoking to hear this level of audio quality you were describing. I know diminishing returns is real but from a less than 1k dac/steamer to a 10k one I had assumed it was going to blow me away and it just didn’t. I had hyped myself up so much. So, as I said I had this whole post, since deleted, asking you guys if I’m crazy.. Anyways over the next night I just ordered an audio quest Ethernet cable as I just had a piece of crap generic Ethernet cable plugged into it. Well, once I hooked that thing up, holy ****!! I was never one to believe in the cable thing, especially Ethernet. Audiophiles talk about “liquid” sound and that is something I’ve been searching for. Well now I think I know what they mean.. I had to the right gear but it was Ethernet cable holding me back?!?!? Crazy! 

First, glad you stepped back and started thinking about what could be wrong and hope you didn’t spend a fortune on an Ethernet cable.  Funny thing is in my system I have a 10’ Ethernet cable I that came with some god knows what device from years back and never really thought about an Ethernet cable. I’m in the camp you were, I mean, it’s a network cable who cares!!!  I may need to now try this out myself.  What audio quest cable and length did you go with and did you get a deal on it?  I’m not gonna run out and go get a Nordost Odin 2 thing, but may toss a few pence and something better than scrap cable to see if there’s any change.  Also, how long have you had the unit on?  break-in is a thing but happened quicker than a CD player or preamp/amp.  Also, are you using Roon with the device?

Hey! I got the most inexpensive one they sell, the pearl. .75 meters. I think it was around $50. The one I replaced was like a 6’ super basic one with plastic ends. I’ve only had the unit for 3 days now but it’s been on ever since I got it. You know maybe you’re right, it could have been a burn in thing. I did let it sit on for over probably 20 hours before I listened to it again, which is when I put that cable in. That’s a great point. When I read about burn in on a electronic piece like this dac, which really doesn’t have much inside it as far as parts/pieces, I feel like it’s just people adjusting to its sound over time. That stuff didn’t make much sense to me but maybe it’s real after all! But since I let it sit for awhile and replaced this cable at the same time, now I’m not sure which it was. Maybe it was both things.. I say give it a shot! I got my cable off Amazon, so it can be returned. Try it out and send it back if doesn’t work out, but let me know how it goes! I’m using its internal steamer. There’s a new app out called J Play which so far seems to be really nice. It cost me $50 but I think it should be much better than M connect. I think J Play is just a much more dressed up version of M connect, but so far it’s worked very well and looks really good on my iPad. Another thought.. The reason I bought the cable was because in the user manual it was talking about using an appropriate shielded USB cable, then said something along the lines if using Ethernet use an “appropriate” cable as if they were saying themselves not to use a generic plastic end cat5 cable. That’s what made me try it out. 

Just received my MA3 and streaming through its built in streamer. All I can say is wow! What an amazing sounding piece. Makes me wonder what the DA2v2/NS1 would sound compared to it. 

hey @genesis168 what DAC did you use prior?  I'm curious to hear.  I also have the MA3 and love it :)

Prior to this I had a Ypsilon DAC1000. The ypsilon has a bit of an edge over the MA3 sonically. I sold it to a friend who wanted it and used the MA3 in the interim until I could figure which road I want to go. It definitely performed way better than expected. Good enough for me to place an order for the EMM Labs DA2v2/NS1 which will hopefully be arriving soon.  

yeah, the EMM stuff definately punches above it's weight.  Sure, there's something out there for far more money for a bit more of this or that, but of all the equipment that comes and goes, so far this has been sitting there doing it's thing and it's fantastic.  Had it on earlier today playing the bill evans trio Sunday at the Village vanguard and just nailed it.  I compared it to the new OJC 180gm and also my 200gm out of the bill evans box set from AP, and while the AP version steals the show every time, through the, the piano sounds just about right for being a digital front end....

@genesis168 wow sweet that you picked up an EMM Labs unit...let us know what you think about that piece and how it compares for the MA3 after getting some listening time :)

The EMM DA2v2/NS1 is scheduled to arrive next week and I will let it settle for a few days before listening to it and post my impressions. 

Please do!  Hope you got a good deal on it.  If i get the upgrade bug (objection, leading question) I may go down this road with the DA2, but so far, I'm pretty happy where I'm at.

The DA2v2 and NS1 arrived today. It hit the rack and I’ve been listening to it for about an hour. It’s difficult to believe how easily it surpasses the MA3 in every respect stone cold out of the box. Will let it stabilize and report back with details. 

Just a quick update on the DA2v2/NS1. Both hooked up via EMM Optilink. I did compare the Optilink vs the AES input and it’s quite shocking how much better the Optilink sounded. Just toggle the inputs on the remote. Took a long time for this combo to get stabilized and run in and sound its best. Now it has over 1000 hours and sounding really, really good. This combo has great magic to the sound. Has a certain air and depth missing in most digital and trust me it will rival most top shelf turntable systems.